For a thorough introduction to what a word sort is and how to implement the strategy in general, please see my previous post. With this post, I’ll explore my favorite use for word sorts: facilitating discussion after reading.
In my last post, I outlined what word sorts are and how to use them with ELL students. This post is a deeper look at using word sorts specifically to preview vocabulary and build background knowledge before a lesson. Enjoy!
What is a Word Sort?
A word sort is basically a set of words or terms printed on cards. They are fairly simple to create, and can be used in many different ways. I’ve also seen word sorts done with picture cards at lower grade levels or with newcomer students who are just beginning in their English development. How you implement this strategy will depend on your grade level, your student needs, and what you intend to accomplish with the lesson.
There is a review activity that I love, called Quiz-Quiz-Trade. It works like this: Every student gets an index card and writes one question on it to test their peers on their learning for the day/unit/etc. Then everyone gets up out of their seats and finds a partner. Partners quiz each other using their self-created questions (This is the Quiz-Quiz part). Then they trade cards and find a new partner to quiz using the previous partner's question (This is the Trade). Repeat.